Week ending 16 September 2007

If Knot Y Knot
Patricia Day
Sun 16 Sep 2007 14:46

Week ending 16 September 2007


Yesterday at Dominoes we found out all about the free boat from Eddie, a Belgian friend of the new owners.  The boat was owned by an elderly couple who had built it 30 years previously and put it up for sale.  A Belgian couple with two kids and a dog on a smaller boat went to see it, but it had already been sold to someone for $15000 via the internet.  The American buyer flew down and stayed on the boat with the original owners.  They flew out on Saturday, the new owner decided it was not for him and 8am Sunday put it on the Net as a freebie.  The Belgian couple heard the announcement and pumped up their dinghy and had got the boat before the Net was over.  The boat needs a lot of work, but has a new rig, big dinghy and outboard and a new generator bought last week.  At the Pot Luck at Coral Cove that evening everybody wanted to know the details and it all had to be gone over again and again.  A 56’ boat for nothing is a bit hard to top. 


I am trying to be brutal with getting rid of stuff; I have about 30 spanners to give away after making sure I have kept at least 4 of each size, which is still too many, but I can do this in phases.  There are also hammers, sockets, screwdrivers, imperial spanners and allen keys in the box. 


John came round to give me advice on my cutlass bearing, but he is electrical/electronic really and we got from the shaft to the engine.   I have an internal regulator on my alternator, which I would be better to have modified.  I was totally lost very early in the conversation, so have asked him to deal with it.

It is supposed to help my batteries and I am in favour of anything that does that.



I cancelled the Friday launch and then went to Customs and collected my cutlass bearing.  I had previously checked that I just needed my passport, not my boat papers, the guy insisted on my boat papers or I could not have my packet.  I got very definite and explained that my boat name is registered in my passport, which seemed to surprise him and I got my box.  He checked that I knew what to do with the part, I had some thoughts, but did not express those, just told him it goes on the shaft.  It is the first bearing and rubber, but it is actually 100 cm which I wanted and not 75 cm I was told. 


Bob came by and said to wait a few days, but otherwise we could use this bearing and we can put the boat back together when he has a spare hour or so.  I went and bought some white epoxy paint, for when it is not raining. 


I spent the afternoon walking to the fuel dock which is in the next marina.  The first tank is still full from the Canaries fill up, even after motoring around the islands, but I filled up the second tank.  80 litres cost me £10, this took 4 trips and I filtered it all into the tank.  I only fill up once a year and although the tank is not quite full, it should be enough.  I cannot undo the cap to the first tank, which I remember being a problem last time I filled up, it may be time to replace the deck fitting. 



It painted the patches where the props were with a second coat and got ready to go into Port of Spain with Judy, who just wanted to look around.  We got caught up in a clothes shop which has huge reductions and I got two pairs of trousers, two tops and a light jacket for £20.  We could have bought a lot more, but will go back again when we have more time.  I needed extra balls for the top of my belly bar, they work their way off.  It was difficult to find much of a selection of bars, which I would have bought if I liked any, but then I found just the balls (although the lady was adamant that she did not have any) so I bought 5 which should keep me going for a year.  I bought another 10 yards of velcro for the mosquito screens and Judy bought some material for a bed cover.  In one shop I found my bag zip open and in the next shop a lady said she had seen the two men behind me were pickpockets, but nobody says anything because the guys turn nasty.  I don’t think I lost any money or anything else, which was lucky.  We went into the yummy coffee/smoothie shop, which is compulsory on a trip to town.  We caught the bus back just after 3 to avoid the rush when everything crawls for about 3 hours.  A girl on the bus was being bothered by a man, she called to the driver, but nobody paid any attention, again because people are afraid of reactions.  The girl got off, refusing to pay and waited for the next bus.  The guy was hurling vile abuse out the window at her for a long way down the road.  When the guy got off, he too refused to pay, because of her.  The driver did not respond at all, just drove off.  Apart from that it was a good day.



I painted the wooden platform the seat is mounted on and the plinths the hydrovane brackets are on to protect them, the varnish has all disappeared.  I also did the alternator which did need a coat of paint.  


I went to customs to check for my other bearing, nothing has come in yet, it could be some time as I did not courier it, that was probably a mistake.


Jim has bought the boat in Coral Cove and should have arrived this afternoon.


This is Poker night, not tonight.  Quite a few people are away, one was engrossed in a job and one forgot what day it was, although they did hear me announce it on the morning Net.


We were only playing patience when Security came round and told us we needed permission from Miss Jane to play cards as this was a ‘fine dining’ area.  We had permission from the restaurant and they should have checked if it was necessary, we have been playing here for weeks.  If it took three security guards to come and oust us who was watching the gate?  The bar manager was told by Jane Peake to buy us a drink and was to go and see her in the morning.  There are people still doing their internet, which is not fine dining, but I will let it go for now.  The restaurant are well aware of how much they take in drinks and food if 8 people spend several hours playing cards. 



Bob hailed me on the radio to apologise for not getting to poker, but I did not tell him on the radio what had passed.  I wanted to put the boat back together and he was going to come and help.  I had a buyer for some of the spanners.

We had to get the rudder up and reconnected.  We had a missing part, I did not know as I had been outside when Colin took the gear off.  Luckily I found the bearing in the transom.  All was going well until we tried to get the top pin in, I said that we had had to punch it out.  The holes did not quite line up and so we drilled, we filed, it is heavy steel and eventually we gave up and thumped the pin back in, I will have to bash it out again next time.  The steering cables had to be attached and adjusted.  I put the rudder straight and the wheel was at 1’0 clock.  It took quite a while to get everything lined up, but it was good in the end and I could put the ceiling back up in the cabin.  Luckily I had some ham and some rolls and a cold beer and a piece of cake to give Bob.  It took about 6 hours just to get the rudder in, I owe Bob big time, if there is anything he needs, bone marrow transplant, or a kidney maybe, he only has to ask.


I then had to get the prop seal in and re-attach the shaft to the engine.  This went quite well.  Someone else came to take a selection of spanners.  I have to admit that I had just been using the spanners, but only because they were out and handy.  Then it was a huge tidy up.  It is a well known fact that every little job on a boat will take much longer than you expect.  10 minutes can extend to 2 days, make that a week if you need parts – more than that if you don’t courier them!  You also have to pull most of the boat apart to get to what you need.  It is days like this that make me quite understand why the man gave the boat away rather than do the work it needed, but presumably he could afford to lose the $15000.


It is a very long time since I have dived into the chocolate box like this evening, but I think I deserved it.


I did not have an opportunity to see Jane Peake and the busy day also took my mind off going to Customs; both of these will now have to wait until Monday. 



Finished up all the antifoul on the bottom and painted another coat on the step.  Time for the half monthly check on the batteries, they seemed happy so I did not add any water. 


I got the sewing machine out and the last of the material.  I made one more cushion, but it was only a small one, no more.  Then I made curtains and tie backs and straps to keep the seating cushions back to the wood, because when the boat is on the water things move, not that I can really remember what it is like to be on the water.  It was really hot today and we had a power cut, but as I do not have air conditioning that does not affect me.



This is rest day, so I have to get up early to get things done so that I can have a rest.  Gel coat on the stern tube, where I had taken it all off to find the non-existent set screws and another coat of paint on the step, it should have been the final one, but there are a few bubbles.  If I had taken the time to mask up then I would not be facing the clean up of the surrounding surfaces, this is something I know, but just do not do.  I checked a boat I am looking after to restart their air con and by 9 I had done all I was going to do and it was time for a shower.  Today is going to be another hot one and that means a long drippy walk to Dominoes.